The icky part of transforming your life no one wants to talk about.
While working with many clients over the years I have come to find that most people avoid the full process of transformation. As soon as things get hairy, or in this metaphor, slimy, they pull back and retreat to what they know. They say they want the peace, they want the purpose, they want the happiness- but not so much the process.
The butterfly has been the classic symbol of transformation because this creepy crawling creature grows majestic wings and flies, AMAZING! But no one really focuses on the really awesome part where the caterpillar literally turns into a pod of goo, a dark squishy pod of GOO!
No one wants to be the goo. It’s icky, its claustrophobic, its violent even.
And yet, there would be no transformation, without some trans-forming.
Latin ( transcend; transfix); prefix, used with the meanings “across,” “beyond,” “through,”
something that gives or determines shape; a mold. Holding something together.
So, in order to change something permanently, to the tipping point where there is no teetering back, you need to go past the form holding it together in its present state. Taking the popular butterfly metaphor, the butterfly has become a butterfly and there’s no going back to being a caterpillar. For us, if we want to be confident instead of insecure, going through all phases of transformation to permanent confidence is worth the goo phase. It doesn’t mean it’s the fun phase.
To make this natural process of transformation more graceful and harmonious for us, let’s re-examine our relationship to the less sexy parts of change. These are the concepts we’d rather sweep under a rug and deny from existence because they are difficult, uncomfy or ugly. Below are the natural stages and phases of transformation you won’t see on an inspirational poster.
- The Unknown- What we don’t know scares us. We want to know, and therefore we limit this amazing process of discovery. This alive experience is only possible if we hang out more in not knowing and confusion. Those states mean we are dancing with the creative process; we are participating with life. I propose that living what we know, is far scarier than the unknown. For me, it means I am not discovering, growing and expanding. If the unknown is not welcome in my life that means some parts of me are stagnant and stuck, since dying is a part of life. No growth means the universal intelligence of nature and life are not working through me. Some call this EGO, the part that knows who you are because of your past, your name, your race, your roles, etc… But if we want to become something we haven’t experienced before now, we must learn to embrace or accept the unknown in a new way. (even if we get scared)
- The Dark- Let’s be honest, lots of people are scared of the dark. It is the real deal unknown because your eyes can’t see. There could be monsters for gosh sakes. When really, all life comes from dark. Think about it. The feminine energy of feelings and creative ideas (unseen), dark soil where seeds nestle in to grow, and of course the womb. All life comes from the dark. Our entire body is working miraculously and effortlessly in the dark (under your skin- its dark in there, but your cells aren’t needing a nightlight to get by). We also practice our faith muscles in the dark because we don’t know the outcomes and choose to walk towards them anyways. The dark is the inability to see every detail and be able to step ahead. We need to allow for that, and move forward anyways.
- Dismemberment– Falling apart to come back together. No one wants to sign up for a dismemberment class on the weekend. They want a yoga class where they will eat organic, chant, and feel HAPPY in their perfectly fitting lululemons (yoga pants). Dismemberment is actually a welcome part of transformation because you simply can’t go back to the old, out worn part you are breaking through. That means sustainable change! Lasting results. Some chaos might ensue, but rest assured when its coming from a place of transformation, your life is being reorganized for your own benefit in the long run. You are becoming what you set out in your mind, and your life is tearing down what will not work for your new goals and creations.
Here’s the thing, transformation is what it is; it’s a part of life. And for the most part it is difficult for human beings. It’s pretty easy for nature. A tree’s leaves fall off without having separation anxiety, a super nova explodes, thus creating the material for new stars and all is well. We breakdown our known, to create energy for what is becoming. The more we tune into the nature of who we really are (as part of nature itself, part of the whole) the more we can really rock out and live our life.